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Jags Motivating Williams

June 13, 2008   

Jaguars playing mind games, coaxing the best out of OG Williams


Three days after cutting OG Chris Naeole — the Jaguars’ best offensive lineman, whose health was in question after blowing out his knee in midseason of 2007 — the Jaguars re-signed Maurice Williams to a four-year, $16 million deal in March. So the fact that Williams finds himself in the thick of a battle for the starting OLG job with lightly regarded Uche Nwaneri and Dennis Norman is a curious development in Jacksonville’s minicamp. A converted offensive tackle who finally started to tap into his potential after shifting inside when Naeole went down, Williams was expected to form a potent complement to OG Vince Manuwai, who has flipped over to the right side. The way we hear it, Williams’ hold on the starting job isn’t as tenuous as it looks on the practice field. Rather, it’s a ploy the coaches are taking to motivate him to continue his strong play after signing his lucrative deal. Williams’ effort has been called into question, and the hope is that staging a competition will convince him to live up to the terms of his deal. Only $4 million of Williams' $16 million contract is guaranteed.